Visitors to Milwaukee's East Side might notice many painters outside over the next week. They're not commercial house painters; rather, they're artists.
They're creating pieces as part of a plein air competition, sponsored by a coalition of museums called Milwaukee Museum Mile. This Sunday, May 14, the group will also celebrate Milwaukee Museum Mile Day, where each museum will offer free or reduced admission along with some special activities.
The coalition is comprised of five museums, which are arrayed on the bluff above the lakefront: Charles Allis Art Museum, Jewish Museum Milwaukee, North Point Lighthouse, Museum of Wisconsin Art at St. John's On The Lake and Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.
The consortium was created seven years ago with a pretty clear goal. "Instead of looking at us being individual museums in roughly the same area on the historic East Side; rather than fighting for maybe the same visitor, you know, week in and week out, to actually collaborate and see how we could bring visitors to all our museums at one time," says Kevin Walzak, a board member at the North Point Lighthouse.
Walzak says the coalition has allowed the small museums to "market has one" and it also benefits visitors. "They get to see some really unique, quaint, beautiful little museums," he says.